Poor Service from Adobe Costumer Service

I am really disappointed with the service received from Adobe Systems Incorporated today. My goal was simple: download a trial version of Adobe Captivate 4 on my computer for a grant project. I was planning on testing the software and getting used to it before my group purchased it, which is likely (or was).

I filled out the required information to download a trial version, which ironically was much more info than is usual required for standard trial downloads, and submitted the info. Unfortunately, I must have downloaded another product at some point using my email address because a message popped up that this email address has already been taken.

Okay. This normally isn’t a problem. I went back to the download page that asks for an ID and password, and trying in vain to guess the old ID and password. Eventually, I clicked “Did you forget a password?” I entered my email address & received an error saying that this email address does not exist in their database. I retype it, thinking that I miss typed it. No dice.

This is usually the point that I seek help, so I followed the generic “Contact Us” links at the bottom of the page and found a general phone number and tech help number. I tried phoning tech help first. After navigating the phone tree, which asked for product codes, license numbers, and other proof of purchase I waited for my tech help. To be fair, a message warned me that there had been recent changes to the phone tree that may result in longer waiting periods. However, after listen to annoying techno music for 7 minutes I gave up and tried the general service phone number.

I had to navigate around the Adobe phone tree once again (hanging up again and retrying a few times when I took a wrong turn), and waited for help. I just wanted to talk to a human at this point. Keep in mind that I just want a trial download. I received another warning message that the phone tree had been changed and the wait time may be longer than usual. After the first minute I wisely decide to start my lunch while I waited.

Fifteen minutes after dialing the general help number (and after finishing my lunch), I talked to a real human. Can you guess where they referred me? The Tech Support Division. I needed to contact the technical support division to explain the issue, and was given their phone number to call (not transferred directly to their phone line, which is what I was hoping to do). It happened to be the first general tech support phone number I dialed with the annoying techno music.

After dialing the number again, I navigate though the phone tree once more, taking a different route this time. I listening to another five minutes of techno before reaching a living human. They asked for my purchase number or other proof of purchase. I said that I didn’t have one and only wanted to download a trial version of Adobe Captivate, and explained the email address issue. To my surprise, I was informed that the number I had dialed was for “paying customers” and not for trials. I thought tech support was going to hang up on me, but he gave me a “tip that might help:” use a different email address (I already considered this, but was hoping to avoid this option).

That one tip was the only help I received from Adobe. Over an hour of surfing online and though various phone networks, I came back with an almost meaningless tip. Is this the standard technical help I should come to expect from Adobe? This poor service did not win a fan today! I did not mention that I work for a private liberal arts college, which has most of the Adobe products. And also didn’t mention that the project in which I am involved includes four other colleges and universities, with great potential for dozens of other institutions to invest in this product.

I almost never rant, especially in public, but was so frustrated with Adobe’s poor service that I had to post my experience for others to learn or to compare. Perhaps someone from Adobe Systems Incorporated will read this experience and improve the system–that is my wish. As for the customer service system that exists now, it is extremely poor.

I am still trying to download the trial version to compare to Captasia, which I like. There may be no comparison at this point. We will see!


About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on July 31, 2009, in Other, Technology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Kirsten Harris


    I work for Adobe and would like to apologize for the poor Customer Service/Tech Support you received.
    The fastest solution for you is to create a new Adobe ID based on your current email address. This will allow you to download the Captivate 4 trial instantly.

    Kirsten Harris
    Manager Technical Response Team, Creative Solutions & Acrobat

    • From another viewer…

      Hi, Kirsten. I am SO frustrated with technical support. When I originally posted my problem on 1/30/10, I explained everything in detail. Actually it is a pretty simple question.
      But here I am 3 weeks later after getting only responses wanting me to answer the same questions.

      Today I received notice that my case had been updated, so I went to it online thinking “oh, finally an answer.” There was no posting from Adobe, but said that my case had been updated last night.

      This is totally nuts.
      Here’s my Case Number: Case #0181415547: Bring CS3 workspacesettings over to CS4

      All I want to know is why when I copied over my AI workspaces from CS3 to CS4 it doesn’t recognize them or give me an error message. I’d like to use the same workspaces I had created previously in CS3 in my new CS4.

  1. Pingback: Defamatory Remarks and Opinions | Library Shop Talk

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